Resource Details

Canopy development in tropical tree plantations: a comparison of species mixtures and monocultures

Literature: Journal Articles

Menalled, F.D., Kelty, M.J. & Ewel, J.J. 1998, "Canopy development in tropical tree plantations: a comparison of species mixtures and monocultures", Forest Ecology and Management, vol. 104, no. 1-3, pp. 249-263.

Contact Info

Corresponding Author:


  • Department of Forestry and Wildlife Management, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Amherst, MA 01003, USA
  • Institute of Pacific Island Forestry, 1151 Punchbowl St. Room 323, Honolulu, HI 96816, USA


Forest Ecology & Management

Selecting the link above redirects this page to the article on the journal website where the online material can be purchased or accessed if with subscription. For more information on access, see sidebar.

Species Info

  • Cordia alliodora
  • Hyeronima alchorneoides


  • This article presents research evaluating the growth and form of trees and the light area index (LAI) in the canopies of mixed and monoculture plantations of Cedrela odorata, Cordia alliodora, and Hyeronima alchorneoides.
  • At two and four years since establishment, Hyeronima trees demonstrate significant height differences between plantation types.
  • Cordia exhibited higher height growth in the mixture, while Cedrela exhibited lower height growth in the mixture plantations.
  • After 4 years, the dominant height (height of the tallest 20% of trees) of Cordia trees (18.6m) was higher than Hyeronima (14.3m) or Cedrela (13.9m) in the mixture plantation.
  • In the monoculture plantation, the height of Cedrela (15.1m), Cordia (14.5m), and Hyeronima (14.3) was more similar. using the stem height and crown dimensions of the species, the authors provide schematic depictions of the canopy structure in monocultures and mixtures mixtures at 1.5, 2.5, and 3.5 years since establishment.
  • The LAI refers to the amount of radiation intercepted by the tree leaves.
  • At 1.5 years, the LAI of the mixed plantation was similar to the Cordia monoculture, around 2.1, while the LAI of Hyeronima was around 5. By 3.0 to 3.5 years, the LAI of the mixtures was increased to similar levels as the Hyeronima monoculture, while Cordia and Cedrela maintained a fluctuating, but lower LAI.
  • The authors suggest that these species are compatible in mixtures (especially Cordia and Hyeronima), and they stress the need for more studies evaluating the compatibility of different species in intimate mixtures.

Geographical Region

  • Southern Central America
  • Ecosystems

  • Tropical Wet Forest
  • Country

  • Costa Rica
  • This database is a work in progress, and we need your input to keep it up to date. Feel free to contact ELTI at to provide information on your own work as well as other projects and literature currently missing from the database.


    ELTI is a joint initiative of:
    Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute